'One of you'
Thu, 20/01/22, 18:22
Schweinsteiger publishing his life story as novel
Photo credit: ©Marco Grob
Everything about Bastian Schweinsteiger’s career is known, isn’t it? His childhood spent between the ski slopes and football pitch, his breakthrough at FC Bayern, his great triumphs, his biggest defeat. Yet football, says the 2014 World Cup winner, was never the most important thing for him. “Life has always been more important to me than sport.” And now you can read that in Schweinsteiger’s biography, which will be released next Wednesday (26 January).
Schweinsteiger didn’t just trust anyone with the task of documenting his life. He turned to Martin Suter, currently the most renowned author in Switzerland, whose own football career ended after a sending-off at the age of 12, as he admits with a smile at the book launch. He quickly warmed to the idea, though.
Suter was impressed in their first meeting at Zürich airport. “I never had the impression that Basti thought he was something special. I liked that.” The novelist was also touched by Schweinsteiger’s words at his testimonial match at the Allianz Arena in 2018. “I’m one of you - and I’ll always be one of you,” Schweinsteiger said to the fans at the time. “A wonderful assertion”, found Suter. “I wanted to prove that he really is ‘one of you’.”
The work, which was presented in Berlin on Thursday, is now also called ‘One of you’. It’s not a conventional biography, but a biographical novel that tells true and almost true stories from the 37-year-old’s life. He hasn’t changed the facts, clarifies Suter, but gave his artistic licence free rein in the way he describes them, the thoughts and feelings that were involved. “I immediately recognised myself in Martin’s lines,” says Schweinsteiger. “When I read the first draft, I said to Martin: You can’t improve that, it’s all there.”
The book begins with probably Schweinsteiger’s most spectacular goal, when he was a young boy in Oberaudorf - unfortunately in his own net. You live through Schweinsteiger’s journey from the cow pasture to the World Cup final. Many of the anecdotes and stories are well known, but now you hear them from Schweinsteiger’s perspective. He also offers insights into his private life, explaining how he won the heart of wife Ana Ivanović and proposed to her.
It’s the story of a Bastian Schweinsteiger who you know or think you know - and yet more. Page after page, you dive deeper into his world between Kaiserschmarrn, football and Ana, whose story Suter has interwoven with Bastian’s. “Basti told me he doesn't believe in coincidences," says the author, “which is why Ana appears in the book from her birth. You see it can't be a coincidence that they met.” Suter smiles. "Basti also helped the coincidence happen a bit.” Those who want to know more can now read it for themselves. “"I'll put it in Thomas Müller’s locker," Schweinsteiger announced. It is also highly recommended to every Bayern fan.
'One of you', Martin Suter's novel about Bastian Schweinsteiger, is published by Diogenes and will be available from 26 January 2022 - including in the FC Bayern Store!